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Welcome to the dark months. January is dreary and cheerless under normal circumstances; I knew that it would be even tougher during the pandemic, especially because we’re still under the strictest lockdown in the Czech Republic.
And so I checked in with myself. Was I doing okay, this far into a pandemic?
Yes. I’m okay. I’m taking this time as a hibernation period of sorts. I’m not putting my foot on the gas work-wise; instead, I’m keeping up a normal level of work and filling my days with cats and baking and meditation and books and working on my finances. and while there are often times when I’m seething with the aggravating sameness of these days, life has been good overall.
A lot of my travel friends have been struggling with not traveling lately. So numerous of them, in fact, that I wondered if I was a freak for not feeling that way myself. how much did travel actually imply to me if I barely discovered that four months had passed without me even leaving the city limits?
But much more than anything, travel has taught me patience. You cultivate a certain kind of patience when you’re crammed into the back of a Cambodian minibus with your backpack on your lap for an eight-hour journey. A certain kind of patience when your luggage has been lost for days and you’re back at M&S purchasing a third new outfit that makes you look like a PTA mom.
My mental health has been good through this time, and I’m deeply grateful for that. Not everyone is so lucky.
What has helped me has been acknowledging that this is a season in our lives. A shitty season, yes — but a season. A finite period of time that requires you to work with what you have, not lament how else it could have been.
Our lives will not always be like this, and we just need to hold on a little longer.
Prague, Czech Republic
Celebrating Biden’s inauguration! Fucking finally. We always knew we’d be celebrating with bubbly, and we delighted in another bottle of the jazz cava that we discovered in December. It was a good day, and even the kittens delighted in themselves!
Adjusting to life post-Trump. It really hit me the weekend after inauguration. I woke up and had no idea what Trump was up to. He had been banned from Twitter. He had gone quiet. He couldn’t use the presidency to harm people anymore.
And once I realized that, I was at such peace. No joke, my FitBit data says that I’ve been sleeping much better because Trump’s been gone.
That, of course, does not imply that everything is magically better; for the most susceptible people in the US, change is marginal at best. Which is why we need to continue donating our time and money, communicating about the issues that matter, and holding our public officials accountable.
Lewis’s health is improving!! THAT is the highlight of the month. but there were also some bad times — see the full description below in “Challenges.”
Business is ramping up. part of me thought that December would be crazy, as there are often brands eager to spend their budget and quickly, but to my surprise, January brought forth several interesting opportunities, including some new consulting work that I really enjoyed. I hope it continues.
Getting a speaking gig at Traverse money Minicon! I’m thrilled to be speaking at this virtual conference. This round is specializing in all the different ways travel content creators can make money — and I’ll be speaking about how starting a Patreon saved my business! It’s on February 18 and you can find out much more information here.
Lewis’s disease had two scary setbacks this month. Our kitten Lewis was diagnosed with FIP on December 28, and this is what our lives have revolved around ever since.
FIP is one of the worst diagnoses a cat can get. until two years ago or so, FIP was about 98% fatal (100% for wet FIP, which is the type Lewis has, and 96% for dry FIP) with no treatment available beyond palliative care. but things have CHANGED. There is now a treatment available called GS that has an 80-90% cure rate!!!
However, GS has not been approved by the FDA or the equivalent in other countries. for that reason it’s marketed as a “nutritional supplement” and the few vets who are familiar with it can’t prescribe or administer it; shipping it internationally can be a mess. how do people get it? Facebook groups. There are amazing networks that help people save their cats around the globe. It’s a gray area of legality, making it a black market environment.
And for that reason, many vets don’t know that this treatment even exists. So they tell you to put your cat down — as our vet did.
THANK GOD we found one of these groups. The day Lewis was diagnosed, Charlie drove all the way to Brno to picnullnull